Government drops legal action against Apple in encryption feud

The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) has officially stopped pursuing legal action against Apple in the month-long encryption feud between the the tech giant and the FBI. Citing the success of an outside method of breaking into the iPhone 5c used by one of the San Bernardino shooters, the DoJ has opted to vacate a court order compelling Apple's assistance in the matter:

The government has now successfully accessed the data stored on Farook's iPhone and therefore no longer requires the assistance from Apple Inc. mandated by Court's Order Compelling Apple Inc. to Assist Agents in Search dated February 16, 2016.

Accordingly, the government hereby requests that the Order Compelling Apple Inc. to Assist Agents in Search dated February 16, 2016 be vacated.

The sudden move comes exactly a week after the FBI was granted a delay in the case in order to test a new unlock method put forth by an unnamed third-party. While the avenue of the FBI's unlock method is still unknown, its success runs counter to the government's initial argument that it could not break into the iPhone in question without Apple's assistance.

While this marks the end of Apple's involvement, the high-profile nature of the case has helped spark a wider discussion of encryption that will likely continue to play out in further court cases and possible congressional action.